A Thousand Points of Spite: Week 7 Judginess
Worst missed branding opportunity. You know how the networks love to brand game weekends, with "ROAD TRIP TESTMAS WEEK" this and "UPSET POTENTIALBAIT EVE" that, even though there are demonstrably many road games and upsets and rivalry games happening every weekend, forever? ESPN really blew a fine chance to market Week 7 as "Hurty Feelings Week." (We would also have accepted "Tire Fire Saturday.") In one brief Saturday, we got target="_blank">Art Briles blowing off a College Station writer, Will Muschamp going all WILL MUSCHAMP on the Gators' officiating crew, Steve Spurrier making enemies with gamblers everywhere, and Mark Richt and James Franklin engaging in the most timid war of words this side of a Junior League silent auction. (Just let Todd Grantham be the media point of contact for the rest of the season at UGA. He says all the fun stuff.)
Best reason to name your baby "Chris Smith." This catch. It's just. There are no words. There are no words because it's tricky to form words when one's jaw is flopping around on the rug, getting teeth everywhere. Now, that sets a body to wondering: is the precise opposite of that play something like this, in terms of vehemently not holding onto the ball, or something like this, wherein things go precisely not as planned, but in also-spectacular fashion?
Most unfair natural advantage. Trent Richardson should be docked a count of three-Mississippi when playing teams like the University of Mississippi, target="_blank">so ill-equipped are they to deal with him being large, fast and good at football.
Most urgently needed special dispensation. It's the disappointment of the weekend that Robert Griffin and Ryan Tannehill weren't allowed a fifth quarter of play to try and get to 1000 combined passing yards. Has to be some sort of provision for that. You won't hear the power brokers behind the new TV deals arguing, either.
Best close call. That 89-yard kickoff return Sammy Watkins executed halfway through the fourth quarter of Clemson-Maryland put the freshman Tigers star dangerously close to doubling up his own 105-yard receiving game with special teams yardage. He would finish with 207 on returns.
Worst guts. Dennis Erickson, down 14 to score-happy Oregon in the fourth quarter, sent out his field goal unit to shave the Ducks' entirely sustainable lead to a smaller, still entirely sustainable lead.
Best guts. That Ducks defense that stood the Sun Devils on their heels following Darron Thomas' exit. Here's how Arizona State's drives ended after Thomas left the game: three-and-out, penalty-forced punt, two-sack three-and-out, field goal, three-and-out, interception.)
Best new nickname. Mike London "Calling" is now a thing, right?
Best Irving Berlin tribute. Texas and Oklahoma State, getting their guns.
Best swap value in an alternate universe where college football has a trade market. Montee Ball to Ohio State University for a truckload of cash, a player to be named later and a second truckload of remaindered sweatervests. (They're great for layering.)
Most creative scoreboard additions. Kansas State eschewed field goals in favor of blocking two of Texas Tech's attempts, plus scoring on an interception and a 100-yard kickoff return.
Worst punt in a year filled with bad examples. Florida, Indiana, if the point of punting were to serve as a kind of lighthearted interlude in between bouts of actual football, take heart that you'd be all-Americans.
Belle of the ball. This is perhaps the least objectionable call Ron Cherry has made in his career, but also displays his most feared attribute: The man will slow your game down whenever and wherever he feels like it, with just plain words if he has to, and don't you dare forget it. Grape Job, sir.
Most WAC game in recorded human history. A 9:00 p.m. ET start time. And 914 yards of total offense. And 41 first downs. And six sacks. And six punts. And 12 turnovers. Friday night's Hawaii-San Jose State tilt will live in our hearts forever, as long as our hearts can withstand the stress.
Worst perspective. Janoris Jenkins, Saturday: "U had da best corner n da Nation in you released him." Janoris Jenkins, two days prior: Ejected from his D-II game with nine pro scouts in attendance. Best dumpster dive. Oklahoma associate AD Kenny Mossman had to retrieve Ryan Broyles' game-worn gloves from the trash (Broyles tossed them after fumbling) for historic reasons: The hometown hero had set a single-game receiving record and become the NCAA's all-time leading receiver with them on. Mossman: "Glad I got that master's degree."